Crossing the Red Sea

One of the first things I learned here in Mexico was to respect the ocean. My favorite beach is Playa Palmar, the beach that fronts the hotel zone of Ixtapa.  The perfect backdrop for each amazing sunset. Its massive waves used to lull me to sleep. The loud “boom” of each crashing wave; the roar of the ocean.  The waves in Ixtapa are absolutely mesmerizing. They beckon you in the daytime to romp inside of them.  “It’s fine”, they say. “Come play with us. You will get wet, but you won’t get hurt!”, they promise.  Many unsuspecting tourists have succumbed to that call; not all have survived to tell the tale.  Continue reading


A Tribute to a Great Lady: My Mother-in-law; My Suegra

Today marks the 10th anniversary of my beloved suegra in heaven. Her great love touched me deeply, and I am so grateful to have been a part of her life. I wrote the post below on the 1st anniversary of her passing.

I have been blessed in my life with many amazing people – from my own family, the best friends a girl could ask for, a loving husband, and wonderful in-laws. When one hears the word ‘mother-in-law’ spoken, visions come to mind of the stereotypical stern woman with white gloves testing for dust in their daughter-in-law’s home, looking down her nose and ready to point out her flaws, as let’s face it- no woman can ever be good enough for her boy, especially not for her baby boy (by the way, Vidal is the youngest in his family). At any rate, the very word ‘mother-in-law’ conjures up a pretty bad image, or at least, quite a few jokes. I was blessed with the opposite of that image in my mother-in-law; for that reason I will from this point on refer to her by the Spanish term- my suegra. She was loving, kind, funny, accepting, generous, and by far the strongest woman I have known.  Continue reading

Water, Water, Everywhere. How Much Do You Value It?

So goes the old saying: Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink”.

Although we always have plenty of water here – water in the ocean and plenty of purified drinking water (bottled), living down here in downtown Zihuatanejo has been a bit of a wake-up call for me about water in general.

When I first moved here, I was put up in the lovely Dorado Pacifico hotel, where I enjoyed not only purified water on tap, but wonderful hot showers and amazing water pressure, 365 days per year.  In that respect, life was not that much different than my life in Chicagoland had been. Well, except for the amazing view: water, water, everywhere was my view from the balcony. Water, water at my disposal 24/7 to drink, shower and hand-wash clothes whenever I wanted. Falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves was a reminder of what I couldn’t see when I faded into slumberland. Oh, the music of the ocean! Oh, the calming breeze flowing through the open balcony doors! And oh, the magic of air-conditioning on those hot summer nights!

Then came marriage and a new life living in a non-ocean view studio room in downtown Zihuatanejo. No more breeze, a/c, purified water on tap, water pressure or hot water, and more often than not – we had to take bucket showers. Have you ever taken a bucket shower while camping out in the boonies?  Let me tell you, it’s quite a challenge with long hair! Water, water, oh where was the water? I learned quickly what it meant to live by the words “”water is precious”. But how could I complain, when I knew that even with those issues, we were far better off than many people in our area.

When we had this house built upon the old one, we had a much bigger cistern put in to avoid those issues.  For the most part, it has worked.  There have only been a handful of times since 2001 in which we ran out of water and had to have a truckload pumped in; this past month we saw two of those days.

Before life in downtown Zihuatanejo, I never gave it a thought about taking long showers or letting water run while brushing my teeth.  I am more conscience about it when I travel – choosing to hang on to my bath towel for a few days, for example.  Living differently changes people.  I see things differently, and it bothers me to see wasteful usage of water. For example, I had to really bite my tongue when the whole “Ice bucket” challenge was going on.  That sounds a bit extreme/uptight, but it’s just something that ran through my mind and it wouldn’t leave.  I kept that to myself, at least!

The thing is- when we are born into countries where the basics in life are in abundance, we don’t see the value of them.  I guess one could say that can be said about anything – health, a loved one, our families, our parents. Once they are gone, we see the value. So let’s all just try to be grateful for the basics in life: Water. Food. Air. Our health.  Keep tabs on your water. But most importantly – show your family and friends you love them. They are the real treasures God has bestowed upon you.

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. Exodus 15:22

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12


Random Thoughts from the Crayola House

Bible Studies are a wonderful tool; understanding God’s Word as our daily bread and applying it to our lives helps us to better ourselves and allow us to walk in our gifts, on the path originally and perfectly chosen for us – using the Word and the Holy Spirit as our guides. It is the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God that gives us wisdom.

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. – Psalm 119:18

There are some who believe that too much wisdom is not good for us. Well, I don’t know nuttin’ about that.  But then again, I don’t know that I really ever thought of myself as wise. I can be a bit of a wise-guy at times, a self-proclaimed grammar policewoman (who is fully aware of the double-negative above), and I suppose one could say I am somewhat elder by now, but wise?  Or is wisdom just in the eye of the beholder?  Oops, wisdom thou shalt be put aside for the moment, as my cell alarm is screaming at me!

Sorry about that interruption. Continue reading